Starring (the voices of): Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, David Cross, Brad Pitt, Justin Theroux, Ben Stiller

Director: Tom McGrath

Writer: Alan J. Schoolcraft, Brent Simons

Cinematography: David James

Original Score: Lorne Balfe, Hans Zimmer

Running Time: 96 mins.

When it comes to animation there is little doubt the Pixar is king, however with the likes of How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda Dreamworks is doing a fantastic job of offering films that stray further from the usual buddy formula that Pixar seem wary of stepping away from, experimentation is commendable in its own right even if the outcome isn’t always a success. Dragon and Panda mined this originality well and to great success, so much so I would argue they are up there with Pixar’s best. However for every animated masterpiece there is a more pedestrian effort that undoubtedly entertains but will not stay with you beyond the credit roll…Madagascar and Monsters vs. Aliens are the prime culprits and unfortunately this is where Megamind finds itself sitting.

Much like the aforementioned films Megamind takes an interesting idea that is unfortunately undermined somewhat by other films that it resembles a little too closely, especially when one of those films was recently only weeks ago in Despicable Me. That film was intermittently fun thanks to a jovial and game voice cast, the same stands here with Ferrell and Cross proving to be very funny and warming in equal measure but this is perhaps despite rather than owing to the script which is pass-able at best finding its best jokes in the lines that reek of improv (in the best way).

The plot borrows heavily from The Incredibles, as well as Despicable Me, the loveable villain (with echoes of Dr. Evil) the surprise “actual” villain, the disillusioned hero, so on and so forth it goes offering no surprises and a couple of weak turns to balance out those that are good. Pitt should be the perfect superhero with chiselled jaw but his delivery is too stilted to be a.) funny or b.) convincing, made all the worse when he’s up against such a pro as Ferrell.

Though the plotting is predictable it never bores, proving gripping enough to sustain the fact it is sat in Despicable Me’s shadow, though that looks rather weaker even in the face of Megamind, one such case in point is the persistence at using 3D. Though the process is standard now for CGI films it is certainly the best fit for it. Megamind’s 3D is outstanding as it goes, that it involves a lot of flying scenes helps (Dreamworks have cottoned onto the fact that 3D works best for flying) and it matches How to Train Your Dragon on that front offering up swooping through buildings thrills as explosions fire off left, right and centre. If we must endure this onslught of 3D technology I’d rather watch it done effectively.

VERDICT

Megmind is middling Dreamworks, which means worth a watch but don’t expect to remember anything bar Ferrell’s “oo-loo” beyond the credits…great use of 3D though.

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